Tibet, Shakyamuni with vajra sceptre (4)

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Nagel.

The iconography is the same as for Akshobhya in his buddha appearance: the left hand cupped in meditation, the right hand touching the ground (calling Earth to witness his enlightenment). A vajra sceptre is placed before him on the lotus base.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, copper alloy with silver inlay and pigments, private collection on Himalayan Art Resources.

The above wears a patched robe with silver-inlaid seams.

The back of the robe has been given the same finish and the row of petals continue at the back of the base.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with pigments, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

The size of the vajra sceptre varies a lot.

16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, brass with copper-inlaid hem,  private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Sometimes only the upper half of the attribute is showing.

Undated (circa 16th century), (Tibet), Shakyamuni, bronze and pigments, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

This buddha has painted facial features and blue pigment in his hair, the hem of his sanghati is decorated with a geometrical pattern.

16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Koller.

The vajra sceptre here is very small yet noticeable because the lower end of the buddha’s robe is not spread over the base.

16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Hayman Himalayan Art.

Occasionally a thin piece of the inner garment can be seen but it is unusual for it to be incised, in this case with a fine grain pattern which contrasts with the double row of thick beading on the outer robe. The vajra is placed quite close to his feet and almost merges with the fabric.

16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, copper alloy with copper inlay, private collection, photo by Koller.

Undated, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt silver, published in Sattvas and Rajas, the Culture and Art of Tibetan Buddhism, photo on Himalayan Art Resources.

On this silver sculpture the vajra is placed on the rim of the lotus base. The hem of his sanghati is decorated with a stippled and incised geometrical pattern between two rows of beading.

Undated, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt metal, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

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Tibet, Shakaymuni – seated (18)

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Koller.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Koller.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper with cold gold and pigments, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Koller.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Nagel.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, copper alloy with cold gold, at the Newark Museum (USA).

15th-16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Lempertz.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Mossgreen.

Circa 16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper and pigments, is or was at the Jokhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, copper alloy with cold gold, private collection, photo by Koller.

Tibet, Shakyamuni – seated (17)

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Koller.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Koller.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, published on buddhist-art.info.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Koller.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Tibet, Vajradaka (5)

17th century, Tibet, Vajradaka, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Mandarin Auction.

Undated (17th or later), Tibet, Vajradaka, copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

These two figures are very similar in style. The vajra sceptre is missing on the first one, the second comes complete with the charcoal burner, which is round and has three legs shaped like animal heads.

18th century, Tibet, Vajradaka, copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art.

The legs on this tripod are clearly shaped like pig’s heads.

Undated (17th or 18th century?), Tibet, Vajradaka, copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

On this other masterpiece and the next one, his legs are crossed.

Undated , Tibet, Vajradaka, bronze, published in Art of the Himalayas, photo on Himalayan Art Resources.

Undated, Tibet, Vajradaka, bronze (copper alloy), photo by Tibetan Relics.

Centuries of devotion have smoothed the surface of this figure, who sits on a lotus base with large roundish petals typical of the 16th century.

Undated (circa 16th century?), Tibet, Vajradaka, copper alloy, at the Tibet House Museum in New Delhi, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

On this equally old example, Vajradaka stands with his right leg bent, the other straight, both of them partly out of the lotus base.

Undated (circa 16th century?), Tibet, Vajradaka, gilt metal, at Musée Guimet in Paris (France), photo on Himalayan Art Resources.

18th century, Tibeto-Chinese, Vajradaka, bronze and paint, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Parcel-gilt to suit the Chinese taste, this item has also been painted with red pigment, probably to accentuate his wrathful nature. He is seated on a tiger skin, the head of the animal placed between his feet.

 

Tibet, Vajradaka (4)

Undated, Tibet, Vajradaka, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

This rare Vajradaka purification set is very similar to a circa 16th century brass one published in a previous post (sold by Christie’s). The square plinth with eight ornate legs supports a cylindrical pan perforated with holes (for the combustion of the charcoal inside) and decorated with an upright vajra. The deity squats on the lid, his hands crossed over his heart and holding a vajra sceptre and a vajra-handled bell, his head thrust back, the mouth wide open for the smoke to come out.

Undated (Malla period), Tibet, Vajradaka, gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay, same as before.

This rare Nepalese-style item shows him standing with his right leg bent like most other wrathful deities do, and bedecked with turquoise-inlaid jewellery.

Undated, Tibet, metal, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

He is short and pot-bellied, and normally naked. The above wears a tiger skin dhoti worn with the tail of the animal at the front, a feature often seen on 18th-19th century sculptures.

16th century, Tibet, Vajradaka, brass, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

A side view of this example reveals long flaming hair gathered in a bunch.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Vajradaka, bronze, private collection, photo by Arcimboldo.

This one wears a helmet over his long hair, an interesting feature not normally associated with this deity.

Undated (circa 18th century?), Tibet, Vajradaka, metal, at the Museum der Kulturen in Basel (Switzerland).

 

Undated (18th or 19th century), Tibet, Vajradaka, brass, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

He is adorned with a garland of severed heads and some jewellery including earrings, armbands, bracelets, and anklets. This late example, who has his legs crossed, wears a flowing celestial scarf with serpentine ends and matching crown ribbons.

Undated, Tibet, Vajradaka, copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

When this blog was created, hardly any images of Vajradaka were available. Now there are a lot more (partly thanks to the very useful Himalayan Art Resources website – see link in left-hand margin) and we can observe that he may be standing, squatting or seated, in which case his legs may be crossed, gathered before him with both knees bent, or loosely gathered with only one knee bent as above.

Tibet, Shakyamuni – seated (16)

16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, stone, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

The historical buddha is surrounded by five figures, probably the five tathagatas. He holds a begging bowl in his left hand and touches the earth with the other.

Undated (circa 13th century?), Tibet, Shakaymuni, at a mountain sanctuary, photo on Himalayan Art Resources.

This brass sculpture with a copper-inlaid hem and a tall double-lotus base with plump petals belongs to a group of early Tibetan Pala-style works with very harmonious lines and proportions.

The buddha’s chignon is topped with a rare flaming finial indicating the moment of enlightenment. His eyes and urna are inlaid with silver and his lips with copper.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Koller.

This figure, complete with begging bowl, sits on a rare double lotus base topped with a row of stamens, no beading, the two levels separated by a plain band in the middle. The buddha himself as an unusually elongated chignon topped with a large lotus bud finial. The hem of his sanghati is decorated with an incised geometrical pattern.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Here there is a vajra sceptre in front of him  on the base (and a bowl in his left hand).

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper, is or was at the Jokhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

This rare work depicts him with a lotus bud under his middle finger.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

The iconography is the same for Akshobhya…

but the embossed lotus-like wheels on the sole of his feet identify him as Shakyamuni.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Xanadu.

Tibet, Shakyamuni seated – dharmacakra mudra (2)

13th-15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

The historical buddha is seated on a cushion  atop a singular plinth decorated with three circles at the front, his hands ‘turning the wheel of dharma‘, typically with the tip of the forefingers pressed against the thumbs.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

The right hand is held at heart level. The position of the left hand varies.

Undated (16th century circa?), Tibet, Shakaymuni, brass with copper inlay, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Instead of the forefinger, the tip of the ring finger may be pressed on the tip of the thumb (either hand).

Various figures with a buddha appearance may do this gesture. The dharma wheels incised or embossed on the soles of his feet help identify him. This buddha’s soles are marked with a stippled pattern also used for lotuses. The hem of his sanghati and his nails are inlaid with copper.

Circa 16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt clay and pigment, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Undated (circa 18th century), Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze (brass), private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.